Team Riding: Hand to Hand

Before I put swords in the hands of participants on horseback during our Intro to Mounted Combat workshop, I have people high-five each other.  I tell them it’s the friendly way to start hitting one another.  The comment is light-hearted, but the principle and the practice is important.  Co-operative riding is a key part of mounted…

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Bounce that Line! Riding Gymnastics

Riding Level 4: Gymnastics In the equine world, gymnastics have nothing to do with leotards, balance bars, or vaulting horses. Rather, a gymnastic exercise, sometimes called a grid, is a line of jumps or poles set with one, two, or no strides (a bounce) between them.  Gymnastic lines are wonderful exercises that help improve jumping style for…

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Relinquishing Control? Dropping the Reins at all Paces

Riding Level 4: Dropping the Reins There are many times dropping the reins is useful or necessary in mounted combat. Historical manuals show pommel strikes, grappling, cross-bow, off-hand, and half-sword plays at walk and canter.  And, of course, horseback archery is always done without a hand on the reins.  Some images show the reins looped through the…

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Up and Down: mounting and dismounting

Riding Level 4: Mounting, Dismounting, and Stirrups The second item on the Riding Level 4 assessment is 2. Mount – Dismount.  Adjust stirrups mounted. Obviously, by the time you’ve reached level 4, you already know how to mount and dismount.  However, now we expect you to do so smoothly and lightly. Mounting You may use…

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